I’m Petty I’m Pretty I’m Sick
Will Vincent

I’m gurgling
in front of reality TV

3 boys 3 girls in this hypermodern Tokyo apartment
looking for love they work and sleep in late somedays

or write “coward” in ketchup on the omu rice
when their love-to-be won’t express their love

running tongue to teeth
I want to say they’re like moths throwing body to flame but

really some days they just stand at the end of the long table and stare
usually the show brings me to some sort of peace 

but the subtitles smudge in the crust between my eyes and the thing
my friend says his moths in his trailer are so big they knock over the VHS tapes

in the white-blue light beamed-in from the croplands surrounding his home
rotating into their fallow period they give off a compost smell

always quiet the road
I’m sick so I can’t access it 

but there is always some leaf or owl under the more obvious sounds
the smell of wild soil

a small blue flag blowing dimly from the track
I’m back there losing at every sport 60 70 80 points down

we’re learning the mercy rule
I’m sick I’m trite it’s a little flu big deal

but it’s big to me
here in this bathroom there is no other way to read these thoughts of you

no other voice or angle
I’m barking flame and phlegm my sneeze is titanic 

my one false tooth goes flying
clattering against the other real boys in there diligently holding to gum 

but beginning to slide I see you
my little pink retainer likes to hold that one tooth in place with its overcosted plastic

I think it is tightening I think the orthodontist is back there tightening
my teeth ache the gums soften into a sea

the teeth slide like little ‘bergs
sea ice into a sick pink wave

my fingers break through
where snot softens tissue

I am in Marie Kondo’s long night
I swear they’re moving the teeth

the water hurts too it pushes through with its salt from every pore
tears flow nonstop from my left eye only

my skull is heavy with mucus
I’m in the dry garden stumbling

who mists these follicles these plants of the air
maybe it’s the scum I ate or I’ve just got the chill

microbes with their dumb feelers suckers reaching
I read that the common cold only wants to spread

and that’s not evidence of you healing that’s just it wanting more victims
so it spreads wide its arms and makes you its influencer

I am the snot queen
these are my aisles of blood

a crawdad works its way out of my belly button
hello Sebastian the Crab

you seem past regret
what are you and what do you adore

you won’t find me where they’re taking me
there the days are short and the snow holds no shadow

the theater teacher reminds me that some are mostly only punished by their art
so they must in turn punish

even with that same art
if that is what it takes for the students to learn